Primary Postnatal Dorsal Root Ganglion Culture from Conventionally Slaughtered Calves

PLoS One. 2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0168228. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168228. eCollection 2016.


Neurological disorders in ruminants have an important impact on veterinary health, but very few host-specific in vitro models have been established to study diseases affecting the nervous system. Here we describe a primary neuronal dorsal root ganglia (DRG) culture derived from calves after being conventionally slaughtered for food consumption. The study focuses on the in vitro characterization of bovine DRG cell populations by immunofluorescence analysis. The effects of various growth factors on neuron viability, neurite outgrowth and arborisation were evaluated by morphological analysis. Bovine DRG neurons are able to survive for more than 4 weeks in culture. GF supplementation is not required for neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth. However, exogenously added growth factors promote neurite outgrowth. DRG cultures from regularly slaughtered calves represent a promising and sustainable host specific model for the investigation of pain and neurological diseases in bovines.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Ganglia, Spinal / pathology*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission

Grant support

This work was financially supported by a Swiss National Foundation (SNF) Sinergia grant (CRSII3_147692). The professorship of Anna Oevermann for comparative neuropathology is funded by the Charlotte and Ernst Frauchiger-Reyher Foundation.